I wear many hats these days. I’m the CEO of Zoetica, write Beth’s Blog, and have been Visiting Scholar for Nonprofits and Social Media at the Packard Foundation
Define network nonprofit
I’ll be talking about a couple of themes from my book, The Networked Nonprofit.
It isn’t a nonprofit with an Internet Connection and a Facebook Profile …Networked Nonprofits are simple and transparent organizations. They are easy for outsiders to get in and insiders to get out. They engage people to shape and share their work in order to raise awareness of social issues, organize communities to provide services or advocate for legislation. In the long run, they are helping to make the world a safer, fairer, healthier place to live.Networked Nonprofits don’t work harder or longer than other organizations, they work differently. They engage in conversations with people beyond their walls -- lots of conversations -- to build relationships that spread their work through the network. Incorporating relationship building as a core responsibility of all staffers fundamentally changes their to-do lists. Working this way is only possible because of the advent of social media. All Networked Nonprofits are comfortable using the new social media toolset -- digital tools such as email, blogs, and Facebook that encourage two-way conversations between people, and between people and organizations, to enlarge their efforts quickly, easily and inexpensively.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/422442291/Problem statement: Explosion in size of nonprofit sector over last twenty years, huge increase in donations and number of nonprofits, and yet the needle hasn’t moved on any serious social issue. A sector that has focused on growing individual institutions ever larger has failed to address complex social problems that outpace the capacity of any individual org. or institution to solve them.
Problem statement: Explosion in size of nonprofit sector over last twenty years, huge increase in donations and number of foundations, and yet needle hasn’t moved on any serious social issue. A sector that has focused on growing individual institutions ever larger has failed to address complex social problems that outpace the capacity of any individual org. or institution to solve them. That’s why feel strongly that nonprofits need to work more like networks.http://www.flickr.com/photos/sorby/258577150/http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncultured/1815645413/
The transition from working like this to this – doesn’t happen over night, can’t flip a switch
The transition of how a nonprofit goes from institution to looking like and working more like a network is what our book is aboutThe transition isn’t an easy, flip a switch – and it happens – it takes time Some nonprofits, newer ones like Mom’s Rising have networked nonprofit in their DNA, while others – institutions – make the change slowly.Way of being transforms into a way of doing
So what happens is that we treat this skepticism like the black smoke monster on LOST – we’re afraid to have those difficult conversations that gets us to a social culture.
Rewards learning and reflectionTry it and fix it approach – fail fastAppreciates individuality and that does not indicate a lack of professionalism or caringTrusts staff to make decisions and respond rapidlyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vo4M4u5Boc
Amy Boroff (@njdevmgr), development manager for Junior Achievement of NJ in Princeton [emphasis added], discovered one of her new Twitter followers was Kate Specchio (@ecsfoundation), co-founder of Morris County-based The Emily C. Specchio Foundation. Through their tweets, Amy recognized the potential for working together. They continued to communicate on Twitter in real-time, after working hours, to learn more about each respective organization. After several weeks, JANJ submitted a proposal to ECS for funding for an inaugural event: the Women's Future Leadership Forum. The ECS Foundation accepted the proposal and granted funds to help support aspiring female high school students become future leaders.
The opposite of Fortresses, Transparents can be considered as glass houses, with the organizations presumably sitting behind glass walls. However, this isn’t really transparency because a wall still exists. True transparency happens when the walls are taken down, when the distinction between inside and outside becomes blurred, and when people are let in and staffers are let out.University of California Museum of Paleontology, “Introduction to Porifera,” http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/porifera/porifera.html (accessed on May 21, 2009). Opening the Kimono in Beth’s Blog: A Day in the Life of Nonprofit Social Media Strategists and Transparency,” Beth’s Blog, posted August 3, 2009, http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/08/opening-the-kimino-week-on-beths-blog-a-day-in-the-life-of-nonprofit-social-media-strategists-and-tr.html (accessed September 30, 2009).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncorneredmarket/370672187/“You cannot be fully transparent all the time because you need to give people a safe place to have the discussion without disrespecting others.”Not black and white – line the Esther Dyson Story at Transparency CampWhat is TransparencyTransparency isn’t black and white. It is very tempting to grade organizations as either transparent or not. However, transparency isn’t quite that simple, it is a sliding scale of openness that changes upon the circumstances and needs of an organization and its network. Organizations certainly need to be open to people on the outside, easy to enter, understand, and navigate. However, this does not mean that every conversation, every piece of paper, every decision, needs to be open to everybody. “You cannot be fully transparent all the time because you need to give people a safe place to have the discussion without disrespecting others.”This black and white notion scares a lot of organizations. Their is definitely a need for a safe place for private conversations – but I our default impulse is to do things in screen – is to build a Robert Frost mending wall. I wonder what it would be like if the default was – everything is open and you had to decide what should be closed?
Don’t do anything stupid – Social MediaDon’t moon anyone with camera
Testing of the policy – and there may be things that you didn’t think
I wear many hats these days. I’m the CEO of Zoetica, write Beth’s Blog, and have been Visiting Scholar for Nonprofits and Social Media at the Packard Foundationv
Quick Poll<br />How many work
with a nonprofit?<br />How many use Twitter? (Personal/Organization)<br />How many are from a nonprofit where everyone on staff is using Twitter?<br />How many tweet using a smart phone?<br />
Loss of control over their
branding and marketing messages<br />Dealing with negative comments<br />Addressing personality versus organizational voice (trusting employees)<br />Make mistakes<br />Make senior staff too accessible<br />Perception of wasted of time and resources <br />Suffering from information overload already, this will cause more<br />